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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Just don’t call it “Medicaid expansion”

It’s the public policy that dare not have its name spoken, at least by Republican legislators. State lawmakers renewed efforts Thursday to find a “Texas solution” to expand health-insurance coverage for low-income residents without accepting the Medicaid expansion in President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Social-services advocates and local officials are among those pushing […]

Just a reminder: Medicaid expansion is still a great deal

But only if you do it. We learned late last week that the decision by 24 states to reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion comes as a startling cost — $423.6 billion in lost federal funds from 2013 to 2022, according to researchers at the Urban Institute. So how are states justifying their decisions to leave that […]

Houston municipal employees may see health insurance costs get hiked again

It’s one of many possible proposals for closing the upcoming budget shortfall. A key option, [Mayor annise] Parker has said, is to increase the share of health care costs employees pay. The city now pays three-fourths, and employees pay one-fourth. “We have a very generous health benefits plan, even with the changes,” Parker said, referring […]

Expanding Medicaid the hard way

A lot smaller than it should have been, but it’s still something. More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility to poor adults, according to federal figures. The 80,435 […]

Don’t sweat that court ruling on Obamacare tax credits just yet

It’s too soon to say what effect, if any will be felt in Texas. Opposing rulings from two federal courts Tuesday left unclear the future prospects of federal financial aid to Texans who qualify for assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled […]

The people who signed up for insurance via Obamacare got themselves a pretty good deal

It worked the way it was supposed to work, in other words. Texans who received financial assistance to purchase health coverage through the federal insurance exchange are paying less in monthly premiums than individuals in most other states using that online marketplace, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

If Louisiana can do it…

By “it” I mean expand Medicaid. What’s Texas’ excuse if that happens? Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter on Monday left open the possibility of expanding Louisiana’s Medicaid program to cover more of the working poor. Vitter, a candidate for governor and ardent critic of the health overhaul championed by President Barack Obama, said he’s not […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a great deal, especially for cities

So many uninsured people could get covered if Medicaid expansion were universal instead of just here and there. Expanding Medicaid under the new health care law would do a lot to slash the number of uninsured people, at least in some of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new report. A review of 14 […]

Teacher health insurance costs

Another thing on the list of things the Legislature needs to deal with but won’t. Health care insurance costs for hundreds of thousands of Texas teachers and other public school employees are scheduled to go up again this fall, prompting renewed calls from educator groups for the state to pick up more of the cost […]

The Texarkana experience

The city of Texarcana literally sits on the border between Texas and Arkansas, partly in one state and partly in the other. That means that some of its residents may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy under Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion/privatization hybrid. Or they may be in Texas and be screwed like anyone else. Arkansas […]

Two million Texans used healthcare.gov

Yeah, we had lots of demand for health insurance. That’s what happens when you have so many uninsured people in a state. Almost all adult Texans knew of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace before its open enrollment ended March 31, new research shows. In a report released Wednesday, Rice University’s Baker Institute for […]

Nearly 200,000 ACA signups in Houston area

Not too shabby. Like the rest of the country, the Houston area appears to have benefited from a last-minute surge in people signing up for federally mandated health insurance. At least 197,650 local residents enrolled in the program, figures released Wednesday show. The Houston sign-ups represent almost 27 percent of Texas’ 733,757 enrollees, the Houston […]

734K ACA enrollments in Texas

Pretty damn impressive, all things considered. New numbers out show that 734,000 Texans bought health insurance through the federal marketplace from last October to April 19, 2014, a report released by Health and Human Services shows. Prior to March 1, an anemic 295,000 people had signed up, but in the final stretch of the Affordable […]

Texas insurance enrollment update

Enrollments are up and the number of uninsured are down, though both could have been a lot better. The sky-high rate of Texans without health insurance has dropped only slightly since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public […]

What’s the health insurance enrollment status in Texas?

The short answer is that we don’t know. The longer answer, as this Express-News story indicates, is that we’ll never really know. Self-sufficiency. Distrust. Desire for flexibility. Those are some reasons many consumers bypassed health insurance plans sold on government-run exchanges and instead chose to buy coverage directly from insurance agents or brokers before open […]

We really should have expanded Medicaid

We know it would have done a lot of good, at a very reasonable cost. Turns out that cost was even less than what we had been told. News reports and state officials have commonly stated that expanding the Medicaid program in this fashion would cost the state about $15 billion over 10 years. Except, that figure, provided […]

It’s called “social media”, Ted

Ted Cruz is shocked, shocked to learn that his silly little Facebook poll got shared with some people who weren’t supposed to answer it. An old maxim about the law – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s chosen profession – holds that courtroom litigators don’t ask questions if they don’t already have the answers. But in the […]

And the first open enrollment period comes to an end

Lots of people signed up in the last few days of enrollment. Some tried but came away empty. Some of the hundreds of Houstonians who sought last-minute help enrolling for the Affordable Care Act on Sunday left thrilled to have health insurance for the first time in their lives, while others walked away frustrated by […]

Last minute health insurance enrollment help

From the inbox: The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will open four of its multi-service centers on Sunday and extend their business hours next Monday to help people sign up for a health insurance plan by the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline. HDHHS will open Acres Homes, Denver Harbor, Northeast and Southwest […]

Once again, the cost of not expanding Medicaid

Short answer: It’s a lot. A team of Harvard researchers recently released a deeply sobering study quantifying how many Americans stand to die needlessly in the unflinching states hellbent on denying Medicaid expansion, as provided by the Affordable Care Act. The study singles out Texas: “In Texas, the largest state opting out of Medicaid expansion, […]

Oh, Buc-ee’s

Ugh. Convenience-store chain Buc-ee’s Ltd. has garnered lots of attention for its clean restrooms. But this week, it’s the owners’ endorsement of tea party favorite Dan Patrick, who faces incumbent David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor, that’s drawn the spotlight. Congressman Joaquin Castro has bashed Buc-ee’s owners over the endorsement and Monday […]

More Obamacare enrollments, still lots more needed

That’s pretty much the story. Texas enrollment in the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act rose steadily in February but did not meet expectations set forth by the Obama administration, according to figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday. “As more Americans learn just how affordable marketplace […]

Inmates and Medicaid

Other states are doing what Texas has declined to do. Being arrested in Chicago for, say, drug possession or assault gets you sent to the Cook County Jail to be fingerprinted, photographed and X-rayed. You’ll also get help applying for health insurance. At least six states and counties from Maryland to Oregon’s Multnomah are getting […]

ACA enrollments top 200K in Texas

Despite continued fierce resistance from state leadership, people keep signing up for health insurance in Texas via the Healthcare.Gov exchange. Enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace continued to steadily climb in January, according to data the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Wednesday. In January, another 89,500 Texans selected a health plan […]

More on Texas Left Me Out

The Observer reports on the launch of Texas Left Me Out. Members of the coalition pointed to two different studies that estimate that thousands of uninsured Texans with chronic conditions are likely to die as a result of not expanding Medicaid. A Harvard University/CUNY study released last week predicts between 1,840 to 3,035 deaths. Another study, by a […]

What the ACA does, Texas has long done

By now you’ve surely heard about the CBO report on the Affordable Care Act and the workforce, which despite some terribly botched reporting does have a lot of political considerations. There’s something I’d like to point out about this before we get too bogged down in attack ads. Let’s start with Kevin Drum putting a […]

Making the push to sign people up for health insurance

Harris County is at ground zero for this national effort. With less than two months remaining to enroll in the health care marketplace, the federal government is focusing outreach efforts on areas with the largest concentrations of uninsured, including Texas’ Harris and Dallas counties. According to a study conducted for The Associated Press, half of […]

Bexar County to offer “plus one” benefits

Good for them. Without referencing same-sex couples, Bexar County on Tuesday agreed to extend health insurance benefits to the unmarried companions of county employees. The “Plus One Qualifying Adult” policy adopted by Commissioners Court attempts to circumvent legal roadblocks that bar the county from offering benefits to workers’ domestic partners. Modeled after an approach used […]

School districts deal with ACA paperwork

The headline for this story says that Texas school districts are “struggling” to deal with requirements of the Affordable Care Act, but there’s not much evidence of actual struggles in the story itself. Texas school districts are scrambling to meet an Affordable Care Act provision that requires them to offer health insurance to thousands of […]

The coverage gap

As you may know, the intent of the Affordable Care Act was to get people below a certain income level onto Medicaid, with people at or above that income level receiving subsidized health insurance via the exchanges. Unfortunately, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Medicaid expansion mandate was unconstitutional, it meant that in states […]

Cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face isn’t a matter of principle

It’s just stupid and self-destructive. Lots of conservative lawmakers hate Obamacare. Rep. Louie Gohmert is putting his money where his mouth is. The Tyler Republican gave up his health insurance for 2014, asserting that the president’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, has made coverage too expensive. “Other people are going to see […]

Somewhat less onerous navigator rules published

They could have been worse, but they could still be better. The Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued state regulations for health care “navigators,” the workers who assist people seeking health insurance in the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The rules take into account some of the criticism aired recently by […]

ACA enrollments in Texas

As was the case with the rest of the country, there was a big surge in December. Texas enrollments in the online insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act rose nearly eightfold in December, according to 2013 figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Monday. Texas ranks third in the […]

Rick Perry doesn’t want people to get health insurance

There’s really no other viable explanation. On a White House conference call on Monday, Texas Democrats criticized Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican state leaders for “getting in the way” of implementing federal health care reform. During the call, which was organized by the White House to tout the impact of the Affordable Care Act […]